Let’s talk power – a subject about which I know enough to endanger myself. Out in the boonies, I will have several options. The first and most obvious is wood. After all, I will be in the Sierra Nevada surrounded by forests and, to date, no burn restrictions (hey, it’s a logging town). I have concluded that my primary heat source will be a wood burning stove. It can also burn pellets if required at some point. There will also be a 120v fed fan/heater combo in the bathroom. As far as illumination goes, I am going with electricity and predominantly 12v power feeding LED lights, the water pump, various fans and USB power outlets. Though LED lights are expensive up front, they last a long time, burn less electricity AND are very cool compared to incandescent bulbs, a big plus in the summer. 12v wiring is also a bit easier and safer to work with. 120v lines will also be installed to power a dozen or so wall outlets, the on-demand water heater, the microwave, and the refrigerator. The 120/12v lines will be largely solar dependant, with two deep cell batteries and generator back up. Propane will power the stove/oven and also the combo propane/electric ‘fridge.
To acheive this vision the first order of business was tearing out the old power lines. These dirty old suckers were not usable as the cloth covered, paper insulated cords were starting to crumble. Pulling those lines was fast and completed in less than 30 minutes, resulting in this:
So this rat’s nest of wire left me with a multiple-choice propostion:
1). Remain true to my trailer-is-just-a-tin-can ethos and recycle it all by painstakingly splicing the wire to its copper roots.
2). Make like a tweaker and burn it all, poisoning the skies, and take what remains to the metal recycler at $2/lb..
3). Throw it out and move on.
The answer is both #1 and #2. No, I haven’t become a meth-head, but as a semi-retiree I have both the time and the thriftiness to patiently trim the wire, bundle it and take it on down to the scrap yard along with the old copper plumbing.
This will keep me busy for awhile.